Tuesday, April 14, 2015

SFA coach a top candidate for KU women’s basketball position


Brandon Schneider, Stephen F. Austin University’s women’s basketball coach, has emerged as a leading candidate to fill the vacancy at Kansas University created when Bonnie Henrickson was fired.

Schneider is in his fifth year at the Southland Conference school in Nacogdoches, Texas. Before that, he coached Div. II Emporia State to 11 NCAA tournament appearances, two Final Fours and a 2010 national championship in 12 seasons. Schneider inherited an Emporia State team that had just gone to the Final Four and brought the Lady Hornets back there in his first season, 1999, and again 11 years later. Emporia was back in the Final Four this season under Schneider’s successor, Jory Collins.

At Stephen F. Austin, Schneider inherited a team that had gone 18-11, 13-3, and tied for first in the Southland Conference. In his five seasons in Nacogdoches thus far, Schneider’s conference records have been 9-7, 11-5, 8-10, 13-5 and 16-2 this season. His most recent team went 23-8 overall, but lost a shot at the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament by losing to Houston Baptist in a conference tourney semifinal and was bounced by TCU in the first round of the WNIT. SFA has not been to the NCAA women’s tournament since 2006.

Schneider interviewed Tuesday, and two others are expected to do so Wednesday.


Brett McCabe 7 years, 3 months ago

Well....ummmm.....I guess maybe? Certainly not overwhelming. But hey, we have until 2020 to hire a coach, so these first interviews may only be with people who may retire before the coaching search is completed.

Ashwin Rao 7 years, 3 months ago

This is just to kill time until Geno finds time from all his promotional activities.

Dyrk Dugan 7 years, 3 months ago

Very misleading article. This coach is a candidate for the position; not a "leading" or a "top" candidate....he's just a candidate. If this were the case, using this language, then I would expect an article tomorrow about the other "top" candidates interviewed today.

The headline should read "SFA coach the first interview for the KU head women's basketball coach position." (If of course, the LJW knows that).

Since we're six weeks in on the search, I don't think another story is warranted, unless the headline is "KU to name so and so head women's basketball coach"; it's taken too long for sure, and now the LJW is getting a bit hasty in trying to create news here. Whatever the process is, let's just play it out now.

Chris Baker 7 years, 3 months ago

It sounds like, six week's in, Keegan is firmly aware of three candidates being interviewed this week. It's not clear if he knows who they all are, but he mentions this Brandon guy, plus two more unspecified, but it is implied that these three are the only ones seriously still in the mix, barring a surprise dark horse candidate appearing out of nowhere.

I think, six weeks in, if only three candidates are being known to be receiving interviews, that it's perfectly fair to call all three of them "leading" or "top" candidates for the job. In what world would being one of the final 3 options not make you a finalist for the position?

Scott Burton 7 years, 3 months ago

Schneider can out coach anybody-Bring On!!!

Mike Shields 7 years, 3 months ago

I agree with Dyrk, I think the headline should read "KU Interviews First Candidate" but I suppose if he is the only person they have interviewed then he technically could be the "leading candidate". I would expect John Ontjes to be one of the other "leading" candidates.

Ethan Schmidt 7 years, 3 months ago

Was at ESU when he was there. He has been my top choice all along! The guy can flat out coach and recruit, and knows the territory very well. He is also awesome at the public relations side of things. His father is one of the winningest (if not the winningest) coaches in Division II women's history.

John Boyle 7 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like he was an excellent Div II coach but not so much at Div 1. Doesn't excite me at all.

Chris Oestreich 7 years, 3 months ago

Tom Keegan, who are the other candidates being interviewed??

Joe Ross 7 years, 3 months ago

Exactly what I was wondering. Knowing who was and is to interview tells us a lot about the candidate pool. Might as well include that information when saying he's been interviewed.

Chris Spangenburg 7 years, 3 months ago

so basically in 5 seasons he couldn't get sfa into the tourney and this is a leading candidate?

Chris Baker 7 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like a good guy, and could be as good as anyone. So I won't be upset if he gets the job, but I still feel very underwhelmed. Certainly, KU Women's Basketball isn't itself a top job in the world of Women's College Basketball, but I would think that it being Kansas, the home of James Naismith court, Phog Allen Fieldhouse a perennial Top-5 Men's Basketball program, the new $17.5 million dollar basketball players dorm (which will house the women's team as well as the men's team!), etc. aught to elevate this position beyond what it's past win-loss performance would otherwise dictate. Any coach coming to Lawrence for the women's team would know that it shouldn't be too difficult to recruit here, and the fan base is incredible and willing to support a winner.

I'm just surprised we couldn't lure a better coaching prospect from a good or up-and-coming major conference program. I would think that the reasons listed above would be incredible lures for such a coach. A place where he/she can legitimately win, has a tradition to be proud of, facilities that are unmatched anywhere else, an active fan base that's ready to return/willing to return, a compensation package that pays what a top coaching job warrants, etc.

Waylon Cook 7 years, 3 months ago

Brandon can get the job done folks. Don't knock his record at SFA.

Robert Lyons 7 years, 3 months ago

Several years ago, a young lady that won a div II national championship was hired at Mizzou. She lasted 10 years with a worse result than Bonnie. Terry (?) Allen was a lower division football coach and he didn't cut it at KU. I have serious reservations about hiring a div II or community college coach. We have been women's basketball boosters since the early 90's and think a (more) successful div I coach or one of their assistants (like the young lady at Notre Dame) would be a better hire.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 3 months ago

Perspective, KU women's basketball is viewed in basically the same light as KU football. KU hasn't had a winning league record in 15 years, only made 2 NCAA tournaments in 15 years, and has had 8 losing seasons (2 of those winning records were 17-16 records), and hasn't finished in the top half of the league in 15 years. KU is not going to attract top level candidates with its recent history of being a mediocre at best program.

The pros on Brandon Schneider is that he's been a very successful coach within the state of Kansas, even if it's only at the D2 level. SFA consistently improved under him so he has been building that program. The Southland is a 1 bid league judging tournament appearances from a coach in that league isn't the same as it is in the Big 12. I don't know who the other two candidates are, but it based on Scheider's resume, KU could do worse than him and I really don't know how much better they could do given the current state of the program.

Dyrk Dugan 7 years, 3 months ago

i agree with Robert and disagree with Aaron. We can attract a better coach than a DII national champ, and then subsequent DI NCAA non qualifier. His team this year was the best they've been and they couldn't beat TCU in the WNIT? (we were swept by the lady Frogs, and only lost to them by six at their place).

We absolutely should be attracting a better candidate. I've said along, Ontjes and Adams are my top two...both young (early 40s), and have state of Kansas ties...Ontjes grew up in Nickerson, and built Hutch JUCO to a national power. Adams has been at Wichita St. for seven years, plus she coached at UMKC for four years. She also has extensive recruiting ties in region, being recruiting coordinator at UMKC, Minnesota and Southern Illinois.

Miss Ivey is definitely interesting as well, learning as an assistant at one of the top women's programs in the country. the risk is, she's never been a head coach before. Doesn't exclude her for sure...and she's only 37 as well.

KU womens' basketball was led for nearly 30 years by a pioneering coach, and we had a lot of success for about 25 of those years....KU needs and deserves a coach who can take us back to those days; and I believe one of the three listed here can do it. Go Jayhawks!

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 3 months ago

If you're a top level assistant, what about KU women's basketball makes it an attractive job right now?

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 3 months ago

Brett, I'm not talking about the difference in quality between KU and a Wichita State. I'm talking about what advantages does KU have over some other major conference team.

You have people here saying KU should be able to go out and hire an elite level assistant coach. My question is what does KU have that's appealing to an assistant coach from a top level program? A successful head coach from a low major conference is probably about as good as KU can hope for and the SFA coach also has the benefit of having coached in the area for a long time. Without knowing who the other 2 candidates are at this point, this guy isn't a bad option.

I just think there's a lot of people who vastly overestimate KU's relevance in women's basketball and the quality of coach KU can realistically expect to hire.

You assume that because someone was successful at WSU, that automatically means they can be successful at KU. Don't forget that Bonnie was a successful coach at Virginia Tech (5 NCAA Tournaments in 7 years) before coming to KU and there was no reason to believe she couldn't be successful at KU as well.

Waylon Cook 7 years, 3 months ago

Anyone ever think that Ivey and Adams aren't even interested in KU? I mean I'd have loved to have hired Saban for football but I don't think he was calling KU.

Joe Ross 7 years, 3 months ago

I just got off the phone with John Ontjes. In certain situations Im a very forward individual. No surprise to most of you.

If there's anyone reading within the inner circle of the hiring, let me say that he did not reveal anything about the process nor did I ask. The guy is an incredible individual. Smart. Well-spoken. Methodical. Humble. Dedicated to success.

Among other things, I expressed to him my personal desire to see him at Kansas and told him that no matter what lies ahead in his future, he has acquitted himself well at HCC. He very warmly and kindly thanked me for his vote of confidence in him as an individual and head coach. Wouldn't it be great to have someone at Kansas who could make the women's basketball program something to root for? How fun would it be to be witness to the making a women's basketball juggernaut?

Swing for the fences. Go for the homerun. Choose your metaphor. John Ontjes: come on down!

Gordon Penny 7 years, 3 months ago


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